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Farmers Almanac
The 2015 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

What to Eat For New Year’s Good Luck

What to Eat For New Year’s Good Luck

“Eat poor on New Year’s and eat fat the rest of the year.” So goes the popular saying in the southern United States. On January 1, millions will be serving up the traditional New Year’s menu of black-eyed peas, ham, greens, and cornbread. It is believed eating these foods on New Year’s Day will bring good luck and prosperity for the remainder of the year. Greens represent the green of money, black-eyed peas symbolize coins, cornbread stands for gold, and ham simply flavors the mix. Try these recipes for your New Year’s Day celebration!

Hoppin’ John
1 cup dry black-eyed peas
4 thick slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 dash each of cayenne & black pepper
3 cups cooked rice

Wash peas, then cover with 5 cups water. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and soak overnight. Rinse and drain thoroughly. Cook bacon in heavy pan until browned. Add onion and green pepper. Sauté until onion is tender. Add beans, 2 cups water, and seasonings. Cover and simmer 40 to 50 minutes or until peas are tender. Remove bay leaf; stir in rice. Continue simmering about 10 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed. Serves 4 to 6.

Collard Greens with Ham Hocks
1 pound fresh collard greens
4 smoked ham hocks
Crushed red pepper
Hot sauce
Salt and pepper

Cut and wash collard greens. Place in large pot with ham hocks and crushed red pepper. Add enough water to cover. Simmer over medium heat approximately two hours until greens are tender. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Serves 4.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 to 4 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil

Stir flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl. In separate bowl, beat eggs, milk, and oil. Add to flour mixture and stir until smooth. (Do not overbeat.) Pour into greased 9 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serves 8.

Maple and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

1 fully cooked ham, about 6 to 8 pounds
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
1 heaping tablespoon brown or Dijon mustard
Dash cinnamon and ginger or allspice

Place ham, fat side up, on rack in foil-lined roasting pan; score fat and stud with cloves, if desired. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 18 minutes per pound, until meat thermometer reads 148 degrees. Combine glaze ingredients in saucepan; boil approximately 2 minutes. Twenty minutes before ham is done baking, spoon about half the glaze over top of ham, then about 10 minutes before done, spread remaining glaze over ham. Serves 8 to 10.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.